Car accidents have grown by at least 1 million in the last ten years. The growth has also increased the fatality rate and the number of accident claims filed by victims. With more cases on injury lawyers’ tables, they must find creative ways to represent clients and ensure they recover their damages. Visit website for more information.
The witness’ account is an important aspect of proving a personal injury case. Most personal injury lawyers love to use this evidence as a golden card for their cases and to represent their clients. But how does it help?
Types Of Witnesses
There are two types of witnesses in any case, whether a personal injury case or a criminal case. These two are the eyewitnesses who can provide a statement or testimony of how the car crash occurred and an expert witness who can provide expert insight on the case.
Eyewitnesses are people who were on the ground and at the scene of the accident when it occurred. These people are expected to have had first-hand experience and to be able to give a detailed account of what happened and how it happened.
Please note eyewitnesses are expected not to have been involved in the accident or share any affiliation with affected persons.
Their third-party account is expected to be clean, clear, and free of bias, thus enabling them to describe the situation as it happened.
Some of the common types of eyewitnesses in a personal injury testimony include;
- Bystanders and passersby who witnessed the accident from start to finish.
- Nearby motorists who were not involved in the accident but witnessed it.
- Other individuals within the accident area who saw the accident. This includes property owners, construction workers, customers, business owners, etc.
Any of the above persons who share no connection with the victim or at-fault party can stand witness during a personal injury trial proceeding.
Expert witnesses are the second class of witnesses and are not necessarily a part of all accident cases. Hiring an expert witness is at the attorney’s discretion, especially if extra evidence is required to corroborate your story or dispel the claim against you.
Common in complex injury cases, expert witnesses provide their professional expertise relating to the accident and injuries sustained. Some professionals who qualify as expert witnesses include accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, mental health care providers, engineering experts, highway safety experts, economists, and more.
Why Witness Testimony Is Important
Witnesses are third parties without connection or affiliation to the victim or at-fault party. They are expected to have no motivation to lie or commit perjury under oath, thus improving the credibility of their account of the situation.
Through their third-party observation of the accident, witnesses may be able to offer valuable information regarding the crash. This valuable information may be the essential one needed to either grant the claim or dismiss it.
For example, an eyewitness may be able to account for how the at-fault driver was on the phone texting or calling before the crash occurred. This important and valuable information may be needed to corroborate other evidence presented by the victim’s counsel to the court.
The weight of an eyewitness’ testimony, in any case, cannot be dismissed. It is, therefore, recommended that accident victims take eyewitnesses’ and bystanders’ information following their accident to ensure a better and more solid case.
Factors That Impact Witness Credibility
Although eyewitnesses are important in proving cases, some factors may impact the credibility of their accounts. Generally, insurance adjusters counter witnesses’ accounts using the following factors.
Connection: Eyewitnesses should not be personally acquainted with the victim or at-fault party as this may cloud their judgment and push them to protect the person they are acquainted with. Either side of the court can counter a witness’s testimony on the grounds of connection. If established, the witness’s testimony may be rendered inadmissible in court or lose its value.
Consistency: Witnesses, whether eyewitnesses or expert witnesses, should be consistent in their account of the situation while maintaining a stand. Inconsistencies call the witness’ credibility into question and may affect how much of an impact their testimony has on the case at hand.
Health: Either side of the court understands the importance of health and wellness when remembering situations and occurrences. An unhealthy witness may be tackled based on their health condition, which may be linked to their lack of grasp on the extent of the situation they are describing.
Observations: A witness’ observation and observation skills may be questioned during the trial. This may be due to certain inconsistencies or errors in their testimony or the account of what happened leading up to the accident. It is important that witnesses only speak of what they saw.
Having a witness in your corner can significantly help your case. Ensure to take information from as many bystanders and contact your attorney for help.